I may be green but Green Thumb, I am not.

My mother has the greenest thumb I know. She can revive any plant, any flower, or any tree. Her plants flower when they are not suppose to flower. She can take a branch of a dead tree, stick it in the ground and the next thing you know, there are green leaves coming out.

Mom's Iris

Iris in my garden Mom rescued from a friend

Well, that little green thumb chromosome must have fallen off the DNA while it was being duplicated in the zygote because I have “Brown” thumbs.

Everything I touch turns brown and they die.

And because she loves plants and flowers so much that she has over twenty houseplants. She promises she won’t acquire more because it’s too much to take care of.  When she goes on vacations, she leaves me specific instructions on how to water her “babies.” When she calls me to check to see how everyone is doing, she’s actually forgot to tell me how to water one of her plants.

The conversation goes something like this.

Mom: Hi, how are you doing? Did the kids go to school OK? Did “he” – my husband – go to work safely? I forgot to tell you, there is this one plant that looks like a snake but it grows upward, and it is dark green with yellowish (she knows I have no clue what any of the scientific names of her plants are so she has to describe them in detail)…..

Me: Fine. Yes. Yes. and No, I have no idea what plant you are talking about but they are all dead.

Mom: Seriously. You know the one that’s right next to the one that looks like a spider………..

Me: Mom, I know. Do you want me to water it, like every day or…..

Mom: NO! I called to tell you NOT to water that one.

So the conversation goes on for hours….on her instructions on how to take care of her plants. And that is not including the flowers in pots in her back patio.

Don’t get me started on those.

But  I think I killed my Hyancinths. You know the one that got me so intoxicated with its gorgeous smell a couple of weeks ago?


Yup, these guys.

The leaves were all turning brown now so I thought they needed more water. No, they are just wilting now and need to be planted in the garden for them to flower next year, my Mom tells me. Whew!

So I clipped all the brown leaves and I planted them in the garden but they still look kinda iffy to me.


Oh, this is so frustrating. I love nature but sometimes nature doesn’t like me. It makes me feel bad for not knowing its personality. I don’t know if it needs water or less water. I pull out green stuff from the garden thinking they are weeds but my mom tells me they are not. I leave stuff thinking they are pretty and my mom tells me they are weeds. I can’t win. I planted a whole bunch of seeds this weekend but now, I have angst because I don’t know if any of them will sprout. I stared at the trays and checked for any signs of change every hour today. So silly. I know.

Are you this nervous about planting?


  1. says

    I am in total sympathy with you, Karen! I have to work very hard to keep my plants alive as it is not second-nature for me. I once heard that in Victorian times, women were judged based on their ability to keep their houseplants healthy! Yesterday, we finished planting our brand new vegetable garden and now have our fingers crossed that everything will stay healthy and thrive.

    You are very lucky to have such a garden-knowledgeable mother to give you plant advice. I have the feeling that your hyacinths are going to do very well!

  2. says

    Those hyacinth! Gorgeous. I am really good with sweet potato. Am attempting the vegetable and herb garden~ again. I now put aside 2 hours a week as meditation-exercise-garden time. I feel very Egyptian~ aligning my lifestyle with nature. I live in hope ~:-)

  3. says

    Oh Karen, your Mom sounds like my Mom! But I must say I too love plants and so far the one I have indoors is still green despite Bela’s heavy prunning. But my older sister can’t have any plants they seem to die on her. It’s nice to have your Mom who is so knowledgeable about weeds versus flowers. =) And don’t feel bad I also don’t know the scientific names.

  4. says

    Sorry Karen know I probably shouldn’t be laughing but I am! If it’s any consolation I think the hyacinths will be fine – when I replant things (yeah not idea of the names either!) they usually take a few days to settle down after the trauma.

    I’m fairly good with plants though I put a few household ones out a bit too early this year – it was mild but then a couiple fo weeks later we got a heavy frost and snow – and I forgot they were outside. So lost a couple of them. But I have a friend like your mom who is a font of knowledge on all things green and she has some cuttings to replace them.

    And this reminds me that I need to get coriander and sweet basil planted again.

  5. says

    We just got some plants and veggies to grow this summer. I’m really hoping I don’t kill them because I really suck at plants just as you do. LOL I have a brown thumb and so does my mom! Neither of us can keep plants living. I don’t even know when to plant them so that they grow by mid summer. LOL I guess now?


  6. says

    Haha! I can totally relate to killing most plants. Matt takes on that responsibility around here. He can grow anything and then I either decorate the house with it (flowers) or cook with it (veggies & herbs). Not that he couldn’t do those things too but it makes me feel like I’ve contributed that way lol. Sorry about the hyacinth!